ABOVE SUSPICION – Review by Susan Granger

Set in Pikeville, Kentucky, this crime thriller is based on actual events that caused fear, loathing and revenge in rural Appalachia. “You know what’s the worst thing about being dead? You have too much time to think,” muses Susan Smith (Emilia Clarke) as her from-the-grave voiceover teases the Southern Gothic saga about to unfold.

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DREAM HORSE – Review by Diane Carson

Director Euros Lyn has crafted the remarkable, real story of thoroughbred Dream Alliance into the fictionalized narrative Dream Horse,. Although rather formulaic and totally predictable, the film is completely charming and overwhelmingly delightful. As stars Toni Collette and Damian Lewis play off each other perfectly, we realize Dream Horse is more about the residents of a Welsh village than this amazing steed.

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PERCY V. GOLIATH – Review by Martha K Baker

Percy v. Goliath may not be the finest film every produced, but it is of interest. Clark Johnson’s truth-based drama is about Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser’s legal battle against Monsanto regarding patented seeds. It also gives Christopher Walken a chance to portray a real man, a farmer, rather than another caricature.

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THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY – Review by Leslie Combemale

Writer/director Craig Pryce’s film The Marijuana Conspiracy proves that a fascinating, little-known, and rather dark chapter in Canadian history does not necessarily make for a fascinating movie. The fact-based story basis for the film is one that has been largely buried in time.

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REEFA – Review by Leslie Combemale

Jessica Kavana Dornbusch has penned and directed the film Reefa about young and very gifted street artist Israel ‘Reefa’ Hernandez, who was struck down by Miami police while he was tagging an abandoned building. After four years of intense research and much dialogue with Hernandez’s family, Kavana Dornbusch has crafted a story that is much more a celebration of a joyful, idealistic youth’s life than it is about a senseless, tragic death at the hands of the officers who should have been protecting him.

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SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT – Review by Martha K Baker

Six Minutes to Midnight offers insight if not brilliance. This film tells a little known story with more effort than excellence. First, the title: Six minutes to midnight translates to 11:54 on a clock; 1154 translates to the telephone exchange for the British intelligence bureau charged with finding an agent. He was posing as an English teacher but went missing with his camera.

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THE COURIER – Review by Diane Carson

British director Dominic Cooke opens The Courier with on-screen titles announcing that by 1960 the United States/Soviet Union nuclear arms race had intensified with imminent destruction threatening. With the Cuban missile crisis as the historical backdrop, this cloak-and-dagger story, based on true events, unfolds with suspense and revelations regarding the CIA, Britain’s MI6, and a Russian traitor.

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Aaron Sorkin on THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, Story Power and Musical Dialogue – Jennifer Merin interviews

In The Trial of the Chicago 7, writer/director Aaron Sorkin dramatizes the US Justice Department’s prosecution of political activists Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellenger, John Froines and Lee Weiner, all of whom were arrested while leading peaceful anti-Vietnam War demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Sorkin chats about balancing entertainment and educational value in his truth based and how he develops story and composes dialogue.

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